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The Top 3 Consumer Expectations for Housing in 2015

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Agents may be looking up when it comes to 2015’s housing market, but how do consumers feel about the impending year?

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The news cycles have been chock-full of stories on what analysts and trade professionals expect for housing and the economy, but what do normal, everyday consumers think the New Year will bring?

Based on results from a new consumer survey conducted by Trulia, here are the three big housing-related expectations consumers have for 2015 and beyond:

1. Keeping the Dream Alive – It says something about the American zeal for homeownership that, even after the rough post-boom marketplace, so many people still aspire to own a home. In Trulia’s survey, 74 percent of respondents stated that homeownership is part of achieving their personal American Dream, which is unchanged from Trulia’s 2013 survey.

That desire is even stronger in Millennials, with 78 percent seeing homeownership in their American dreams; that’s up from 73 percent in 2013 and 65 percent in 2011.

2. Even Renters Still Want to Own – Ready for a big number? According to Trulia’s survey, 93 percent of Millennial renters plan to own a home someday, which is unchanged from 2012 (despite, Trulia’s analysis points out, rising home prices and worsening housing affordability).

Before we get carried away with the size of that number, though, we should stress the key word in Trulia’s survey – “someday,” which does not necessarily mean an immediate influx of homeowners (especially with affordability falling and price growth outpacing wage growthsavings and employment for the vast majority of Americans – and to top it all off, the Fed will probably increase interest rates in 2015).

3. Sellers Remain in Control – Consumers felt that all areas of the housing market would improve in 2015, but how their sentiments differed in those areas is quite telling of how the market has progressed this year. For instance, just 3 percent of consumers believe it will be easier to rent in 2015, a stark sign of the competitive rental market; on the other side of the coin, though, 36 percent said it would be much/a little better in 2014 to sell a house.

So consumers, basically, are prepping for another seller’s market through 2015, and are bracing for more increases in rent.

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